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I'm not doing very well at this stay at home Dad thing at the moment and the reason I know this is my Wife told me that I'm not doing very well at this stay at home Dad thing, and if I’m honest with my self she’s right I’m not. Now there’s been a lot happening over the last few months, my Wife’s Grandparents have been ill particularly her grandfather, and my own Grandmother passed away a few weeks ago, which even though expected didn’t make it any easier, and not being able to make it to the funeral made it worse.

Now I knew that this was going to be hard work and believe me it is but I'm not getting enough done around the house and I think one of the reasons for this is that I’m not following my own advice and I don’t have a plan in place. So whilst I was coming back from the school run this morning (I couldn’t do it on the way there as my daughter asks about 400 questions and is a self confessed chatterbox) I thought about what my Wife said and how I could remedy the situation I find myself in. As I mentioned in my first post this isn’t the first time I’ve done this, and the first time round it didn’t go as we had planned, and I find myself slipping back in to how it was before and this cannot happen.

The Boy will not be much help in my quest to be a better stay at home Dad, in fact he is probably going to throw the proverbial spanner in the works whenever he can. I know it’s not intentional, after all he’s just a baby (well toddler now, he’s 16 months old). He likes to take the washing off the clothes airer as I’m putting it on, empty the toy box I’ve just packed away, throw food and plates off the table when he’s decided he’s finished and generally create as much mess, carnage and devastation as he can (we don’t call him the destroyer for nothing). What I'm going to do is create a schedule for myself, after the kids have gone to bed this evening I'm going to make a list of all the jobs I need to do, and then allocate a day for that job. I’m also going to do a daily schedule to include the things that I need to do on a day by day basis. One of those daily jobs is the laundry which is probably one of my most hated chores. It’s not that I don’t like doing it that I hate it, it’s because that when we moved we downsized and we don’t have enough room for the clothes that we have, we don’t have the space to dry more than one load at a time and also we have a ‘magic laundry bin’. No matter how hard you try the bloody thing never seems to be less than three quarters full, and for that I blame the children. I know it’s not me (after all I’m a bloke and I only put things in the hamper when it can practically walk there itself) but joking aside I’m sure I don’t wear as many things as my kids do. The Boy will usually have two or even three outfit changes a day depending on how messy he decides to be, and which items of food he thinks would look best as accessories to his outfit or as temporary facial tattoos (although I think he’s on to something with his cheese and pickle hair conditioner and pasta sauce moisturiser). My daughter in true female fashion can go through multiple costume changes, anyone would think she was in a West End show and sometimes it seems like every time you turn around she’s wearing something else. I know it’s only until the weather gets better and then I can perform the magical wash day spell that will banish the infernal magical laundry basket for a few months until the winter descends on us again.

I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen again. This time it was some pies that I decided to make for myself and the kids. The filling was minced beef and chorizo and it was very tasty indeed, but like many of my culinary adventures things didn’t quite go to plan. The filling was really very good and I will make it again, but where I need to practice is my construction of the actual pie itself. I used bought shortcrust pastry because it was what I had and I’m not confident in my own pastry making skills yet. I used some enameled pie tins that I had and after greasing them I made the (at least in my mind) soon to be awesome pies. 30 minutes later I took them out of the oven and they looked awesome. Now you may be thinking “hang on, he said that things didn’t go to plan. And here he is saying he just made a couple of awesome pies” and they did look awesome for a first attempt at a proper pie. The trouble started when I tried to get the pie out of the tin, it wasn’t budging a bit it was properly welded to the tin, almost like instead of oil I'd used cement to line the tin. Eventually after much worrying at them with a table knife and a fish slice, I finally got them onto the plates served them with a root vegetable mash and tucked in.

It was by no means a pretty looking dish, but it was very tasty and my daughter said it didn’t matter that it didn’t look like a proper pie because it was made “with love”. The Boy didn’t give a shit what it looked like he just tucked right in, it must have been good as he didn’t even accessorize his clothing or shampoo his hair with it. I’ll keep practising because after all I’m a Yorkshire man and we do like a good pie.

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